Toto Wolff insists Mercedes stays ‘100 PER CENT dedicated’ to Lewis Hamilton amid speak of a shocking transfer for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc… as group principal places rumours all the way down to those that ‘solely need a headline’
Toto Wolff snuffed out hypothesis that Mercedes could be making a transfer for Charles Leclerc subsequent season, as a substitute stating that the constructor remained ‘100 per cent dedicated’ to star driver Lewis Hamilton.
The seven-time world champion’s take care of Mercedes is up for renewal on the finish of 2023, and amidst frustrations with the W14 this season, rumours have swirled that the storied driver could also be trying to transfer on.
Ferrari is claimed to be the main front-runner ought to Hamilton make a transfer throughout the paddock and their present driver Charles Leclerc refused to rule out a move within the different path forward of Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
However Hamilton’s group principal poured scorn on the tales in an interview with Formula1.com when requested about whether or not the constructor would make a play for the Monegasque driver forward of race weekend in Miami.
‘I believe [Leclerc is] 100 per cent dedicated and dependable to Ferrari and it is his contract and in the identical method, we’re 100 per cent committed to placing pen to paper with Lewis,’ Wolff started.
Toto Wolff (proper) poured scorn on rumours that Mercedes have been in dialogue with Charles Leclerc and as a substitute acknowledged his dedication to his driver of ten years Lewis Hamilton (left)
Leclerc moved to Ferrari in 2019 and has spoken of his want to win a championship with them
‘I believe no one doubts Charles’s capacity and he is a superb man.’
However, Wolff added, no conversations had taken place between the 2 events.
‘The one time I talked to him was to ask the place the gate is in Melbourne to board the airplane. No contact in any other case,’ the Austrian quipped.
When pressed on the subject, Wolff responded that the press ‘need that headline’.
‘Charles is a brilliant man, and for the long-term future somebody you have to at all times have in your radar and that is clear. However not for the quick or medium-term.’
Flames have been fanned in Baku after Hamilton was noticed speaking to Ferrari group principal Frederic Vasseur within the paddock.
While the driving force is but to be drawn on the subject, discussions about subsequent yr will seemingly come all the way down to Mercedes’ capacity to offer Hamilton with a automobile able to shattering Red Bull’s dominance and permitting him to problem for a historic eighth world champion.
This season’s shaky begin has seen Hamilton obtain a podium end simply as soon as after putting second in Melbourne, while his team-mate George Russell is but to complete within the prime three.
The 38-year-old presently sits fourth within the drivers standings, behind Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez of Purple Bull, and former team-mate Fernando Alonso, now at Aston Martin.
For his half, Hamilton has stated he’s ‘ready to win’ another world championship and that he’s in his ‘finest ever form’ to contest the title.
However forward of the constructor’s plans to launch an upgraded W14 on the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix on the finish of the month, Wolff has requested his drivers to manage their expectations.
Hamilton and Ferrari group principal Frederic Vasseur have been noticed chatting in Baku
As an alternative, the group principal has requested Hamilton to place confidence in Mercedes wanting ahead.
‘I believe he feels very a lot that he is robust and we really feel the identical, that we’re not going to race for a drivers’ championship this yr,’ Wolff continued.
‘That’s what it seems to be like in the intervening time, and we simply want to present him a automobile that may do this and hopefully we will get our package deal to a profitable package deal this season and have one thing that may carry him his eighth title, and little question he’s motivated to realize this.
‘That is one thing he needs to do, that is his capacity, we’ve got a terrific relationship personally, and with the group he is been a robust pillar over the past 10 years, so we’re in a very good place.’